Friday, December 13, 2019
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LA County Reduces Voter Hassle with Revamped System
By Betti Halsell, Contributing Writer
Published November 28, 2019

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (Courtesy photo)

Voter suppression is a term used to describe underlying attempts to influence the turnout and demographics around an election. Voting times set during prime working hours, limited language assistance in polling locations, and obscure information on voting methods are just a few living testimonials that plague the current ballot system. LA County has studied multiple cases and conducted a number of diverse focus groups in search for a repellant to negative voter experiences. California is a pioneering state, it is only natural for Los Angeles to enter a new frontier of casting ballots. Introducing the Vote Center Placement Project, an innovative answer to the question on how to improve voter turnout. From digital user-friendly polling stations to mobile voting trucks, Los Angeles is leaving no room for a missed ballot opportunity in 2020.

(Courtesy photo)

The current voting system is outdated. The equipment is not accommodating and, in many cases, machines that are designed for the disabled are limited to one per location. Finding the right time to vote is also challenging, days for early voting are only available at selected locations in the county. There is only one assigned voting location between the times of 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. There is no assurance if the mailing-in method is used with no physical drop off locations provided. There is a vital need for reshaping the balloter accessibility. Through a number of forums and conferences across LA, Congresswoman Maxine Waters partnered up with county clerk Dean C. Logan to educate Angelenos of a solution to the previous disruptions during electoral seasons.

(Courtesy photo)

Starting in 2020, LA natives can cast their local and federal ballots at any Voting Center throughout the county. For polling increase, there is a way to register the same day at any location. There will be unrestrictive equipment that is helpful for people with disabilities to operate independently. With a touchscreen display, the font size and screen lighting can be adjusted; there is also an option to use a tactile control with braille labeling. There will be an adjustable audio connection to hear the instructions through the headphones readily available at each station. The user-friendly digital system has the benefit of changing the ballot and instructions to 13 different languages. Instead of having only one day available to get to a polling location, there are now up to eleven days to vote at any voting center across greater Los Angeles. LA County will also be making the ballots mobile by using vehicles specifically designed for driving up voter turnout. The new voting model will uproot the reliance on the obsolete past tense way of voting and move toward a future where it is second nature to weigh in on city and state contests.

Categories: Local | News | Political
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